slowwork, teastyle bamboo collection by jeff da-yu shi of dragonfly
slowwork, teastyle bamboo collection by jeff da-yu shi of dragonfly slowwork, teastyle bamboo collection by jeff da-yu shi of dragonfly
oct 08, 2013

slowwork, teastyle bamboo collection by jeff da-yu shi of dragonfly

slowwork, teastyle by jeff da-yu shi:
the tea ceremony setting




designer jeff da-yu shi of dragonfly design center exhibits ‘slowwork, teastyle’ at domus tiandi showroom during beijing design week, a collection which integrates sustainability, craftsmanship, culture and innovation. traditional chinese designs are reinterpreted with contemporary details, constructions, and in a refreshed presentation. at the core of dragonfly design center’s creative approach is the harmonious coexistence of practicality and aesthetics, creating pieces that surmount the sake of decoration and instead value the performance in their build. the attitude is evident in almost every facet of the series, illustrated through sophisticated characteristics that exceed the common confines of the bamboo medium.


the theme of ‘slowwork’ reveals a method, one which devotes time and discipline to material. da-yu shi devoted himself to the discovery of surfaces and objects that represent chinese society, workmanship, and manufacturing methods, dedicating nearly 2 years with renowned craftsman to realize new ways of working with bamboo. da-yu shi says of the experience, “it is not only rethinking of mass production, but also an important spirit from our culture. designers need to spend more time on studying the material, craftsmanship, looking into the designs from the root, by doing so, design products will have the opportunity to surpass the test of time. therefore, research, design, verification and breakthrough are the 4 key factors of ‘slowwork’.


along with the debut of da-yu shi’s tea ceremony setting, dragonfly design center’s featured products at the exhibition are tea cabinet ‘gui ming-qi’, bookshelf ‘jia ce’ (both of which are adaptations of bent bamboo tubing furniture), tea table ‘zhuo pin-ming, ‘ping cha’ folding screen, stacking ‘gang rou’ chair, ‘praise of bamboo’ tea tray set, ‘deng jun-zi’ stool, and pottery pot no. 1 by kan jian.



tea cabinet ‘gui ming-qi’



the aesthetic of tea cabinet ‘gui ming-qi’ is a cultural fusion of traditional food preservation cupboards from southern china and a british tea cabinet. the two influences combine simple, physical preservation practices and the slow british tea culture, which originally grew from the chinese method. the design of the cabinet requires the application of new crafting techniques — bent bamboo tubes are solidified, reinforcing their intensity and stability. the long, sweeping rows of wooden material span from the top to the bottom of the cabinet, creating an elegant symmetry that defines the delicate quality of the piece. perspective becomes an important facet of the design, as the space between the slats optically changes depending on the viewer’s vantage point.



back view of tea cabinet, revealing thin wooden slats



viewed from an angled perspective, the wooden slats optically seem to be closing



‘zhuo pin-ming’ is a six-seater tea table, influenced by chinese classical ‘ba xian table’ designs — the most common furniture found in traditional chinese households, composed of only 3 parts: the top, the legs and the aprons. ‘zhuo pin-ming’ follows the joinery and tenon structure of the popular construction, while applying environmentally-friendly material: bamboo. each table leg is composed of three long bamboo slats, which intersect at an angle of 120 degrees. without any superfluous decorative elements, the table’s overall appearance and structure reveal intricate craftsmanship and detail. through comprehensive understanding of the quality of the material, da-yu shi achieves the same high density and rigidity as hardwood; a new solution for the traditional craft and an innovative expression of the contemporary chinese design.





the ‘zhuo pin-ming’ six-seater tea table



‘zhuo pin-ming’ follows the joinery and tenon structure of traditional chinese table designs



through the simplification in structure and the application of mortise and tenon joints, the first purely bamboo-made, stackable horseshoe armchair is born. ‘chair gang rou’ repositions design concepts rooted in chinese culture with industrial innovations. the flexible backrest is comprised of four bamboo slats — two streams of three bamboo slats at both sides of the backrest act as complementary supports, which stretch beneath the seat to form the chair legs. with such a large and complex curvature, the bamboo slats need to be bent in three dimensions — which normal bamboo typically doesn’t possess the malleability for — but through a unique technique, da-yu ship erfectly fulfillsthe ‘mission impossible’. suitable for office, dining and tea drinking, the design suggests a healthy sitting posture. space between bamboo slats provides ventilation, supporting the user in a stable manner. its stackability saves space, energy, transportation expenditure and brings down the overall cost. the low-carbon, environmentally-friendly features echo the prominent ecological values of bamboo itself.



the stackability of ‘chair gang rou’ saves space, energy, and brings down the overall cost



the design suggests a healthy sitting posture



design center’s aesthetic approach is to achieve a balanced relationship of practicality and aesthetic, creating pieces that value the materials and construction. the attitude is evident in almost every facet of the series, notably the bookshelf ‘jia ce’, which has sophisticated adjustable components, enabling precise space planning and customization. bamboo slats can be moved and positioned in different arrangement to reflect the items and objects placed inside.




adjustable components slide back and forth on the surface of the ‘jia ce’ bookshelf

sophisticated details and joinery make up the bamboo bookshelf



stool ‘deng jun-zi’ is made purely from 5-yr-old moso bamboo slates. each bamboo slat accomplishes a three-dimensional twist, bending slightly outwards first and then curves back in. the middle v-shaped supporting slats hold everything together, simultaneously creating a sharp-angled bend without destroying bamboo fibers. the main structure of the stool is sturdy and resilient and can sustain 200kg of weight.



stool ‘deng jun-zi’, with each bamboo slat making a three-dimensional twist



(left) an angled perspective shows the rotation of the bamboo
(right) the side view reveals the consistent spacing between the slats




beijing design week
september 26th – october 3rd


beijing design week (BJDW) stands to enliven china’s capital with a unique city-wide showcase of initiatives celebrating creativity and innovation from the design field at large.

  • Absolutely beautiful. Especially the Tea Cabinet and the detailing on the Tea Table. I’m inspired and jealous, all at once.

    douglas says:
  • That stool rocks! Great job!

    ROEM says:

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